In the ninth installment of Lauren Willig's best-selling Pink Carnation series, an atrocious poet teams up with an American widow to prevent Napoleon's invasion of England.
Secret agent Augustus Whittlesby has spent a decade undercover in France, posing as an insufferably bad poet. The French surveillance officers can't bear to read his work closely enough to recognize the information drowned in a sea of verbiage.
New York-born Emma Morris Delagardie is a thorn in Augustus's side. An old school friend of Napoleon's stepdaughter, she came to France with her uncle, the American envoy; eloped with a Frenchman; and has been rattling around the salons of Paris ever since. Widowed for four years, she entertains herself by drinking too much champagne, holding a weekly salon, and loudly critiquing Augustus's poetry.
As Napoleon pursues his plans for the invasion of England, Whittlesby hears of a top-secret device to be demonstrated at a house party at Malmaison. The catch? The only way in is with Emma, who has been asked to write a masque for the weekend's entertainment.
Emma is at a crossroads: Should she return to the States or remain in France? She'll do anything to postpone the decision - even if it means teaming up with that silly poet Whittlesby to write a masque for Bonaparte's house party. But each soon learns that surface appearances are misleading. In this complicated masque within a masque, nothing goes quite as scripted - especially Augustus's feelings for Emma.
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I like Lauren Willig's writing. She writes well developed descriptive paragraphs. I really enjoy reading and listening to Ms. Willig's books because they are so well written. What I liked least about this book was the plot. There wasn't one. There was no espionage and no mystery whereas the other books in this series had a good mystery that required espionage.
Augustus Whittlesby was such a well developed character in the other books that I was looking forward to him having his own book. Mr. Whittlesby whould be let down that his story didn't do his years of espionage justice.
Eloise and Colin's story was also incredibly BORING! There was nothing.
I truly enjoy listening to anything Ms. Reading reads. Her character portrayal makes the reading very believable.
This book itself doesn't need a follow-up; however, I'm looking forward to the next edition of the Pink Carnation Series.
More of what we expect from Lauren Willig